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Outline of Trial Procedures

Washington Post Staff
Friday, January 29, 1999

The Senate last night agreed on a party-line vote to a Republican plan for ending President Clinton's trial with an up-or-down vote on the articles of impeachment by noon on Feb. 12, provided no additional discovery is approved.

Under the new rules:

House prosecutors will begin depositions of Monica S. Lewinsky, Vernon E. Jordan Jr. and Sidney Blumenthal, with one on Monday, one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday.

The Senate majority leader and minority leader must agree on the amount of time allowed for each deposition. A senator from each party will be present to preside. They will be videotaped.

The Senate reconvenes, likely at 1 p.m. Thursday, at which time any objections raised during the depositions by either the House managers or the White House defense would be resolved.

House managers would then be allowed to make a motion to admit all or part of the depositions into evidence.

Only if the two leaders agree could the House prosecutors move "to discover new relevant evidence discovered during the depositions."

Motions to hear live testimony from the three witnesses or video from their deposition would then be allowed.

At this point, the Senate would hear any testimony. Or, if none is approved, the White House would have up to 24 hours to decide whether to ask for any witnesses or evidence of its own.

The Senate would then move to final arguments, with three hours allowed for the House prosecutors and three hours for the White House. But this assumes no White House witnesses or additional House witnesses; if any are called for, the timetable for final Senate consideration of the articles would be suspended.

A motion to open to the public the final deliberations on the articles of impeachment would be allowed. The Senate would deliberate on the articles.

The vote on the articles would occur by noon, Feb. 12.

The Democratic plan rejected by the Senate had several key differences, most notably that the final vote would have been definitively set for Feb. 12, with no extensions possible as allowed under the GOP plan. The House prosecutors would not have been permitted any chance to argue for any new witnesses or evidence and videotaping of the depositions would not have been allowed.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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